City Council Highlights
By Robert Haugh
The Feb. 7 City Council meeting lasted over four hours with little controversy. We were expecting a Tables, Ladders & Chairs match to break out following the Jan. 24 Ironman marathon meeting that lasted over seven hours. The Council and staff should be happy to get home at a decent hour.
Here’s the Cliffs Notes version of the major items:
The Council and Stadium Authority approved almost $600,000 in funding for legal matters regarding Levi’s Stadium and the 49ers. Hanson Bridgett LLC was approved for up to $500,000 for continued representation regarding the lawsuit filed by the Forty Niners SC Stadium against the City. Also approved was an amount not to exceed $99,480 for noise monitoring services by Wilson, Ihrig & Associates. Somewhat surprising: these items were approved unanimously.
Airbnb Transient Occupancy Tax
In anticipation of Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, the City adopted a Transient Occupancy Tax (ToT) for AirBnb residences. The 9.5 percent tax generated nearly $300,000 during 2016. That’s a substantial chunk of money and pays for almost half of the 49ers related legal fees.
Worker Retention Ordinance
The Council discussed establishing a worker retention ordinance – designed to provide job security to food and building service workers in the case of contractual changes. It will be yet another item added to the City Attorney’s to-do list. It was nice seeing new City Attorney Brian Doyle being actively involved in the discussion of the ordinance language.
Partnering With Project for Public Spaces
The Council approved a contract with New York-based non-profit, Project for Public Spaces to look at the City more holistically, as was in ways of creating linkages between downtown, Valley Fair, Central Park and City Place.
The organization will receive an amount not to exceed $120,000, including visioning and community outreach for the BAREC site, near Valley Fair.
Youth Excelling in Sports and Science
The Santa Clara Lions Pop Warner organization was recognized for their Division I team sportsmanship award. Kudos to Coach Craig “Lion” Connelly and his staff for continuing the Lions legacy.
Local students were recognized for their participation in local, state, national and International science competitions.